Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Smart Guy Talks About Michigan

A solid numbers cruncher I know gave me this analysis of Michigan and beyond for the GOP:

Just between us, my intuition is that Mitt guts out a win [in Michigan]– which is probably what every Republican candidate wants.

If McCain loses? The race stays as scrambled as it has been. McCain should stay competitive in SC. So does Romney. If MI and SC are split between two candidates – Rudy stays competitive in FL. And, of course, Thompson is on the rise in SC (at least according to Rasmussen). So, things could get MORE scrambled in advance of 2/5. We could have had six contests and five winners. Either somebody breaks away in the polls, and cleans up on February 5th (which McCain is in the process of doing, but which could be disrupted with a loss today), or things remain as they are – and we stay up all night on 2/5/08 trying to figure out which candidates won which delegates.

Romney still has a looming problem: his position in the national polls stinks. 13%, or 4th place, in the RCP average. Romney has money to compete on Super Tuesday, but one of the major premises of his strategy was big wins in IA and NH to shoot him into first place nationally. This hasn’t happened.

Will a squeaker of a in in Michigan do that for him? I doubt it. It didn’t do a thing for McCain in 2000.